The topic of fertility continues to be talked about in the news and pop culture as celebrities are becoming more open about their own infertility struggles. We are even seeing celebrities having babies in their 40s and talking about their experience freezing their eggs. “While hearing how common infertility is normalizes this diagnosis for many people, it also leads to many fertility misconceptions, which can confuse the facts about infertility,” says SGF Atlanta physician, Dr. Anne Namnoum.
IVF Misconception #1: IVF is my only treatment option.
“When people think of infertility treatment, they immediately assume IVF,” says Dr. Namnoum. “The reality is, IVF is rarely the first line of treatment for patients. At SGF Atlanta we take a stepped-care approach to treatment. Depending on the age and diagnosis of the patient, we start with more basic treatment options first, such as ovulation induction, timed intercourse, or intrauterine insemination (IUI), before moving on to more advanced treatment options such as IVF,” adds Namnoum. What many people are surprised to learn is that nearly 50 percent of the treatment cycles performed at SGF Atlanta are considered low tech.
IVF Misconception #2: IVF is not affordable.
SGF Atlanta has one of the largest insurance networks, which offers our patients many options for coverage. “For those patients without insurance coverage, SGF Atlanta offers innovative financial programs that are designed to ease the cost of fertility treatment so that it does not become a barrier to seeking fertility care,” says Namnoum. “The most popular program is SGF’s Shared Risk 100% Refund Program for IVF. Patients who qualify for this plan may attempt up to six IVF cycles—with their own or donated eggs—for a flat fee. When you take a baby home, our center has earned its fee. In the event the attempts are unsuccessful, we will refund 100 percent of the fee (some exclusions may apply). Today, about 82 percent of our Shared Risk 100% Refund Program participants will go on to take home a baby,” says Namnoum.
IVF Misconception #3: If I do IVF, I will have twins, triplets, or more!
“In the early days of fertility treatment, it was certainly more common for women to have multiples. However, in the last 10 to 15 years, advances in reproductive technology have allowed us to reduce the probability of multiples without compromising success rates,” says Namnoum. With elective single embryo transfer (eSET), patients can now have a healthy singleton pregnancy—removing the risks commonly associated with multiple pregnancies—and their chances for success remain very similar. The rate of patients selecting eSET in our practice is among the highest in the nation.
IVF Misconception #4: IVF takes away eggs that you would otherwise have and diminishes your reserve.
At the beginning of each cycle, your body produces several eggs that may develop, with just one that is mature enough to result in a pregnancy. Normally only one matures and ovulates while the others die. With IVF, all the eggs that are naturally recruited that month get stimulated so they all get an opportunity to mature. Nothing happens to all of the other eggs that are in the ovaries for subsequent menstrual cycles, which does not diminish your ovarian reserve or impair your future fertility.
It’s best to have both partner’s fertility evaluated if the female partner is under 35 years old and the couple has been having unprotected intercourse without conception for 1 year, after 6 months if the female is between the ages of 35-39, and after 3 months if the female is 40 and over. A consultation with a fertility specialist will help you get your questions answered and determine the course of action for you.
SGF Atlanta has three locations in Alpharetta, Atlanta-Northside, and Buckhead-Piedmont. To schedule an appointment with one of Shady Grove Fertility Atlanta’s three physicians, Drs. Mark Perloe, Desireé McCarthy-Keith, or Anne Namnoum, please call 404-843-2229 or complete this brief online form.